9/11 Search And Rescue Dog Gets Stem Cell Treatment

BURKE, Va. (WUSA) -- Red, a black lab from Annapolis, has spent the last ten years as a search and rescue dog. Her missions have included Hurricane Katrina, the La Plata tornadoes, and the Pentagon after 9/11.

"The search and rescue dogs at the Pentagon are credited with finding 70% of the human remains," said Heather Roche, Red's owner and handler. "That helped a whole lot of those families actually get closure."

At just under two years old, 9/11 was Red's first search. Today, she's one of the last 9/11 search and rescue dogs still alive. She retired last July due to severe arthritis.

"The last few months, she would like to be a couch potato but she can't even get on the couch any more," said Roche. "It would be nice if she could do those kinds of things that she misses."

Roche brought Red to the Burke Animal Clinic for stem cell regenerative therapy compliments of MediVet America, the company that developed the in-clinic stem cell technology.

"This is a small something that we can give back as a way of saying thanks for what you guys have done for us," said Dr. John Herrity at the Burke Animal Clinic. "We are just taking fat from Red's side and then we are going to spin it down, process it, extract the stem cells from there."

Red received her first injection just a few hours after she woke up from surgery. The rest of her extracted stem cells will be stored free of charge for use in follow-up treatments.

"We've done about 28 dogs and of those dogs we've had about 75-80% of them doing very well," said Dr. Herrity.

Two other 9/11 dogs that recently received the same stem cell therapy are able to run, climb, and play again. Dr. Herrity's own dog, Bradley, is living proof that the treatment works. Bradley received the same stem cell treatment about one year ago and he's made great progress.

"Hopefully in about 2-3 months, she will be more comfortable, moving around, wanting to play more," said Dr. Herrity.

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9/11 Search And Rescue Dog Gets Stem Cell Treatment

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